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Coronavirus: ‘Warm up, push-up, sanitise, repeat’ – gyms reopen in Northern Ireland | UK News



They are used to warm-ups, push-ups, planks, squats and lunges but there is a new exercise at the gym: sanitise.

Every patron at White Wolf CrossFit gym in Lisburn, County Antrim, had a bucket and cleaning product in their individual workstation.

But they were so relieved to be back pumping the iron, no one was complaining about safety measures as gyms reopened in Northern Ireland.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 15: Airline passengers wearing face masks wait to check in their bags at Heathrow Terminal 5 departures as the outbreak of coronavirus intensifies on March 15, 2020 in London, England. President of the United States, Donald Trump, has implemented a travel ban on European nations and has now extended it to include the United Kingdom and Ireland. The travel ban will begin at midnight EST on Monday as the UK is also set to ban mass gatherings and has already seen the cancellation of major sporting events such as the English Premier League. (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)

Quarantine rules end for dozens of countries

Raymond McBennett said: “I was desperate to get back. It’s been a long time coming. We’ve been doing our home workouts but it hasn’t been the same.”

His wife Hannah added: “You have your own workstation, you have your own equipment, your own cleaning equipment.

“It’s relatively easy and simple, with a one-way system through the gym, so it’s fine and hasn’t put me off at all,” she said.

White Wolf CrossFit gym in Lisburn, County Antrim
Every gym member has a bucket and a cleaning product at their workstation

The gym, which is co-owned by brothers Andy and Jonny Laverty and their friend David Knowles, has been refurbished during lockdown to adhere to guidance.

With gyms not opening in England until 25 July, they suspect other parts of the UK will be hoping to learn from Northern Ireland’s experience.

White Wolf CrossFit gym in Lisburn, County Antrim
Gym members said they were relieved to be back

Mr Knowles said: “As a small group training facility, we have been quite well positioned to adapt to the new normal.

“We already had a booking system in place and we never would have had a large number of people relative to the space we have in here,” he added.

For Karen McAvoy, one of the first patrons back through the door, the gym is much more than a place of exercise.

She said: “Our gym is a community. It has a very social aspect to it so coming in and seeing everyone makes it worth the effort I think.

“We’ve a great, great family here and everybody has a bit of fun, a bit of camaraderie and also a wee bit of competition to keep you going,” she added.

Co-owner Andy Laverty agreed: “Living room workouts are great but they’re only going to get you so far. After a few weeks of that, your motivation is going to dip.

“When you come down to a class and you’re with 10 other people in the flesh and the guy beside you is working that little bit harder, it’s going to push you on and give you that little bit extra,” he added.

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